Freeing Myself

A few years ago our church made some news by announcing we would be open and affirming of all people, regardless of their sexual identity. There was some negative feedback from some outside sources, but the overall response and effect has been incredibly positive.

I have a lot of friends and family who are on all various points on the religious and political spectrum, and many struggle with their acceptance of the LGBTQ community. I was not always as accepting as I have become, but can say I am much happier with where I am today. If this is something you struggle with, I hope you will kindly consider some things that have been helpful to me:

First, I have found that life becomes simpler, easier and more spiritually meaningful the more theologically open-minded I am. It would be wildly arrogant of me to think I have the answers, especially pertaining to matters of God. I believe a healthy theology is one that is open and flexible, allowing room for questions, change and growth. For some, that can be a very scary step.

Second, I also find life becomes simpler, easier and more spiritually meaningful when I have an attitude of welcome instead of exclusion. I have LGBTQ friends and family, and I am simply not willing to turn my back on them because of who they feel they were created to be at the deepest level. And if I am going to be wrong on this matter, I would rather err on the side of Love.

It has been incredibly freeing to let go of my old judgements and to just be, while also allowing others just be, as well. It just feels right. It has freed me to enjoy a more joyful and content existence. It is a hands-off, “don’t tread on me” perspective, which is what we all want for ourselves, isn’t it? The instant I judge or critique your way of life, I open the door for you to do the same to mine. I must allow the same individual freedoms and graces for my neighbors that I want for myself.

Often it’s helpful to hear someone’s personal story. Last year a documentary crew filmed the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as they traveled on a tour of the south, and they stopped at First Baptist for an incredible evening. The award-winning film will be screened on Sunday, June 9 at the Peace Center in Greenville, and the trailer is linked below. I continue to grow from that experience.

These topics can be very difficult for many people, and respectful dialogue is hard to come by these days. I’m happy to talk more, if it would be helpful. Comment respectfully here, or in a private message. If you’re interested in a biblical perspective, I can also highly recommend the book, “This I Know” by my colleague and friend, Jim Dant, linked below, as well. Best of luck in your journey!

Bootie


Resources:

“This, I Know” by Jim Dant
https://www.amazon.com/This-Know-Biblical-Defense-Christians/dp/1635280362

 

ANW11 – Atlanta Qualifying June 5th

American Ninja Warrior - Season 9Hey friends! The time has come!! I’m continually amazed at where this adventure has led, and this Wednesday, June 5th, you can see me compete in my 6th season on an all-new #AmericanNinjaWarrior at 8/7c on NBC.

We filmed this episode in Atlanta back in April and have had to keep our mouths shut about the results until it airs. You can browse some of the photos from that night here:

ATLANTA ANW 11 PHOTOS

#BootieBandwagon
#GetOnIt

 

Ninja Warrior 11 – Atlanta Photos

Filming in Atlanta has completed, and as always, it was an amazing time. I always come away wishing I had gotten more photos, but here are a handful of some behind the scenes.

The season begins May 29 on NBC! Typically, the first region aired is Los Angeles, and then the next week should be Atlanta. I’ll share more info here when the date is known.

Until then (and always) get all the Ninja Warrior scoop at the sources below!

 

Follow us on all these official sources:
TWITTER:
@bootiecothran
@NinjaWarrior
@anwnation

INSTAGRAM:
@bootiecothran
@NinjaWarrior

@anwnation

FACEBOOK:
@bootiebandwagon
@ninjawarrior
@anwnation

#AmericanNinjaWarrior
#BootieBandwagon
#GetOnIt

 

Seeking Something More

Heaven knows terrible things happen to people in this world.  The good die young, and the wicked prosper, and in any one town, anywhere, there is grief enough to freeze the blood.

But from deep within whatever the hidden spring is that life wells up from, there wells up into our lives, even at their darkest and maybe especially then, a power to heal, to breathe new life into us.

And in this regard, I think, every man is a mystic because every man at one time or another experiences in the thick of his joy or his pain the power out of the depths of his life to bless him.

I do not believe that it matters greatly what name you call this power – the spirit of God is only one of its names – but what I think does matter, vastly, is that we open ourselves to receive it; that we address it and let ourselves be addressed by it; that we move in the direction that it seeks to move us, the direction of fuller communion with itself and with one another.

Howard Thurman

 

VOTE!

Vote

Be an informed and educated voter.

  1. Ignore anything where someone or a group of people are attacking a candidate. These groups are paid millions of dollars to make a candidate look as bad as possible. They turn words and phrases around, taking things out of context, never telling the full story. They are playing us all, and many of us just blindly allow it. Don’t pay attention to it. Ignore them all.
  2. Instead, go to the candidate’s websites and read about their positions and watch their videos, but do it objectively and fairly. Get it straight from the source, not some third or fourth party who will paint it with as ugly a color as they can. Educate yourself on both sides, then make your own, informed decision.
  3. Then VOTE, and celebrate the freedom you have to live in a country where you are allowed to participate in deciding who our leaders will be.

Peace!
Bootie

 

 

Miami City Finals: Links and Thanks!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all y’all! It’s been crazy fun and an amazing ride. If you missed the show on Monday you can see my run these ways:

1) On NBC this Friday, August 3rd at 8pm/7c. My run comes up around 1 hour 30 min into it.
2) Full episode: https://www.nbc.com/american-ni…/…/miami-city-finals/3768291
(my run comes up at the 1:04 mark in that timeline)
3) Run only: https://youtu.be/wiPC5arhaB4

Those first two options each include the competitor profile with the Furman University footage that they showed before my run, as well as the post-run interview with Kristine. The youtube clip is the run, only.

Thank you for all your kind words, friendship and support!!

#NextStopVegas
#AmericanNinjaWarrior
#BootieBandwagon
#GetOnIt

Miami City Finals are Monday Night!

The time is here! THIS Monday night, July 30th, you’ll be able to watch to top 30 competitors from the southeast region compete for 15 spots to advance to the national finals. The action starts at 8/7c on NBC!

If you missed my Miami Qualifying run, you can catch it HERE on YouTube (run-only) and HERE on NBC (includes the full profile they did before my run, and the post-run interview with Kristine). And if you want to know what it was like inside my head at the time, you can even do that HERE.

This was my second year in a row making it to a City Finals round. Last year in Daytona, I fell on the Rolling Thunder but made it just far enough fast enough to advance with the top 30. Late into that qualifying round I was unsure if I was going to make it in. This year I was able to leave no doubt by finally getting past the 5th obstacle and up the wall to hit my first buzzer!

Thanks for all of your support!!

(also, American Ninja Warrior just released my season 10 submission video below)

Follow us on all these official sources:
TWITTER:
@bootiecothran
@NinjaWarrior
@anwnation

INSTAGRAM:
@bootiecothran
@NinjaWarrior

@anwnation

FACEBOOK:
@bootiebandwagon
@ninjawarrior
@anwnation

#AmericanNinjaWarrior
#BootieBandwagon
#GetOnIt